Maddie & Tae Ready to “Start Here”

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae’s first full-length album, Start Here, is due in stores and online June 2. It will include both their chart-topping debut, “Girl in a Country Song,” as well as their latest hit, “Fly.”

“We had so many names,” Maddie says of choosing the title, “pieces of lyrics, song titles, our names. But when it really came down to it, what this record is to us is the beginning of everything! You only get one first album.”

In the end, Tae believes Start Here says it all. “It is one of those sentiments that holds all the promise, all the chances and maybe a little bit of being scared. But you have to start somewhere, and this is pretty great place to begin.”

The weekend following their album’s release, Maddie & Tae kick off Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer tour with Kip Moore and Canaan Smith June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Kacey Musgraves Sends “Biscuits” to Country Radio

Image Courtesy Kelly Christine Musgraves/Sandbox

Kacey Musgraves is baking up a batch of “Biscuits” for country radio. Her new single will be fans’ first taste of new music from her sophomore album for Mercury Records Nashville. Her debut, Same Trailer Different Park, won the Grammy for Best Country Album.

“I’m very proud to be kickin’ things off with ‘Biscuits’! I think it’s the perfect preview to the record we had SO much fun making,” Kacey says. “The sound of this song represents so many of the things I love about country music. And be warned — it may inspire a square dance,” she jokes.

Kacey co-wrote “Biscuits” with frequent collaborators Shane McAnally and Best New Artist Grammy nominee Brandy Clark. You should start hearing it on the radio around the middle of March.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Christina Aguilera Gives Kudos to Miranda Lambert

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville

Don’t be surprised if you see some of Miranda Lambert’s influence when Christina Aguilera steps into her upcoming guest role on Nashville.

“Miranda is no joke,” Christina told Seth Myers Wednesday on NBC’s Late Night. “She’s awesome. I’ve become such a huge fan… Honestly, if I were a country singer, I’d probably be her. She’s awesome. She’s really awesome. I’ve got to give her kudos!”

Christina will play a pop star trying to cross over into country on the ABC show set in Music City. She’s hoping the new role will step up her cred with country contestants when she’s competing against Miranda’s husband Blake Shelton to secure contestants for her team on The Voice.

“I’ll be able to have something under my belt to get certain steals for these country artists,” she says. “I’ll be like ‘Well, I’m actually on the show Nashville, recording in Nashville.'”

You can catch Nashville Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.  The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio  

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich beach-themed Luke Bryan chart-topper was co-written by Cole Swindell? ANSWER:  “Roller Coaster.”

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Cole Swindell Takes Down Home Tour to Home State

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleThis weekend, Cole Swindell brings his Down Home tour to his home state.  Sunday, the Georgia native wraps up three days of music at Atlanta Motor Speedway, headlining just before the drivers are introduced for the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. Though he’s not performing, pop-rocker Gavin DeGraw is also the honorary pace car driver for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Cole grew up in the small town of Bronwood, Georgia, about three hours south of Atlanta. When he’s not playing his own solo dates, he’s currently out on the Burn It Down tour with Jason Aldean and Tyler Farr.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley and Garth Brooks Bring Fun, Unique Shows to Country Radio Seminar in Nashville

Image Courtesy ABC News Radio/Hunter KellyThings got a little weird at Dierks Bentley‘s after-hours show Wednesday night at the Country Radio Seminar. Dierks and his band took on the persona of a washed-up country group called Hot Country Knights to cover ’90s country hits during a two-hour set at The Stage honky tonk on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. The guys never broke character as they worked their way through Sawyer Brown‘s “Some Girls Do” and Billy Ray Cyrus‘s “Achy Breaky Heart” for the invitation-only crowd.

Miranda Lambert took on the alter ego Shelby Shelton to join Hot Country Knights for Shania Twain‘s “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under.” Lady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley wore a bad ’80s wig and a fitted, patriotic shirt for his performance of Brooks & Dunn‘s “My Maria”; Randy Houser took on the persona of curly-haired country star Dallas Houston to sing Tracy Byrd‘s “Watermelon Crawl”; and Kip Moore was on hand to sing David Lee Murphy‘s “Dust on the Bottle.”

Dierks’ cover show wasn’t the only entertainment option in town for country radio programmers attending the CRS. Garth Brooks played an invite-only club show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works. The set list included a mix of new songs from his latest album, Man Against Machine, and classic tracks like “Friends in Low Places,” “Rodeo” and “Two Pina Coladas.”

Garth’s wife, Trisha Yearwood, looked like she was having a great time according to an Instagram photo she posted at the show. The picture shows her holding two cups with Garth’s “G” logo close to her chest with the caption, “Watching G with my double g’s! #goinghomewithhim.”


Here at Marathon MusicWorks watching G with my double g’s! #goinghomewithhim

A photo posted by Trisha Yearwood (@trishayearwood) on Feb 25, 2015 at 9:14pm PST


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Nashville” Recap: “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”

Image Courtesy ABCOn Wednesday’s Nashville, Mayor Teddy Conrad grew increasingly paranoid his brief relationship with the call girl, Natasha, would be found out as more and more people learned about the forbidden affair. At the end of the episode, Teddy showed up at Natasha’s house in an effort to come up with a lie about how they met. Unfortunately, an unrelated sting operation was going down at Natasha’s house, so cameras and audio of Teddy covering up the affair was recorded in a surveillance van down the street.

Teddy’s paranoia was fueled by his one-time blackmailer, Jeff Fordham, who was facing hard times since the record label he ran, Edgehill Republic, was suddenly shut down completely. Jeff was fired when his boss found out about his underhanded scheme to sign a record deal with Teddy and Rayna Jaymes‘ daughter, Maddie, using Teddy’s relationship with the call girl as leverage. Look for Jeff to continue threatening to expose Teddy in the coming weeks.

Since superstar Luke Wheeler was left without a recording home due to the shuttering of Edgehill Republic, Jeff proposed Luke start his own label and let Jeff run the operation. They signed former Edgehill act Will Lexington to the label, but Luke ultimately cut Jeff out of the deal completely due to his terrible reputation.

Rayna Jaymes and her manager, Bucky, met with multiple acts in hopes of signing new talent to Highway 65 Records.  They ultimately decided to sign Will’s ex-wife, Layla Grant, to the label. In the meantime, Rayna and her lawyers dipped into the Highway 65’s liability insurance to reach a settlement with Sadie Stone‘s abusive ex-husband, Pete. His lawsuit claiming ownership of a portion of Sadie’s career brought work on her new album to a halt, and Rayna threatened to ruin Pete if he ever messed with Sadie again once his payoff agreement was signed.

As Deacon Claybourne continued to wait for a liver, his oncologist offered him the option of signing up for a cancer drug trial. Deacon ultimately refused to participate in the trial, and his niece, Scarlett O’Conner turned to her ex-boyfriends, Avery Barkley and Gunnar Scott, to help her make some music to escape her sadness about Deacon. They ended up performing a new song called “World on Time” as a trio at The Bluebird Café, and the love song seemed appropriate as Scarlett made the leap to finally ask Deacon’s cute oncologist out on a date.

“World on Time” is a song written by one of Nashville‘s favorite songwriters, Trent Dabbs. He’s penned several songs for the show, including Juliette Barnes‘ big hit, “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet.” As for “World on Time,” Trent tells ABC News Radio, “[It’s] just a straight-up love song, and that’s another thing that I feel like is so much harder to do than it seems — just to write a straight-up love song that isn’t corny all, you know? So, it felt like an old-school, folky love song.”

As for “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet,” Trent admits he had someone else in the country world in mind when he co-wrote it.

Caitlyn Smith and I had written it for a potential Carrie Underwood pitch, and it was like, ‘I’ll just send it to [Nashville Music Supervisor] Frankie [Pine].’  And she loved it, and then asked me if I would consider re-writing some of it, and I was like, ‘Sure.'” 

If you’re interested to hear Trent Dabbs’ version of “World on Time,” be sure to pick up a copy of his new album, Believer, available now. The Nashville cast version of “World on Time” is available at iTunes.

Nashville returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Brett Eldredge Recharged His Creative Batteries with a Quick Trip to Key West Earlier This Week

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge spent the first part of this week in Key West, Florida, before heading back for the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. Getting away from the freezing temperatures in Music City helped get Brett’s creative juices flowing as he continues work on his upcoming sophomore album.

“I went down there to go fishing and become inspired by the beautiful beach,” Brett tells ABC News Radio. “It was 20 degrees when we left Nashville. It was 68 when I got there, and it ended up being 87 by the time I left, and so I was like — I’m inspired! I feel amazing.”

One of Brett’s biggest hits, “Beat of the Music,” was inspired by his time at the beach, so it’s no surprise to learn he’s always looking to get back on the water.

Says Brett, “Anytime I can get away, if I have a couple days off, I go to somewhere where there’s water because I just get completely reenergized by the ocean or lake or whatever it is — a puddle, I don’t care what it is.”

Brett will release the first single from his sophomore album once his latest hit, “Mean to Me,” finishes its climb to #1 on the country chart.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockEric Church’s next single will be “Like A Wrecking Ball,” from his CD The Outsiders.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood made a surprise appearance at Nashville’s Country Radio Seminar on Wednesday, showing up to announce this year’s inductees into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Negotiates the Rivalry Between Oklahoma and Texas

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleAs a Texas native who both married Okie Blake Shelton and now finds herself living in his home state, Miranda Lambert says she’s never confused about where her loyalties lie.

“Oklahoma has welcomed me, and I found my second home in my husband’s home state,” she tells the Tulsa World. “We love living there on our farm. I am a fan of the small-town feel, and I get to be myself,” she says of her adopted hometown of Tishomingo.

But she’s quick to make sure the Lone Star State has the last word. “My parents have instilled in me to be proud of where you come from, so I will always be very proud of being a Texan,” she adds.

This Saturday night, Miranda brings her Certified Platinum tour to the Sooner State’s BOK Center in Tulsa.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio